‘Washington’s Nemesis’ Exhibit Is The Stuff Of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Dreams

The Fraunces Tavern Museum (54 Pearl Street), maintaining its dedication to showcasing the history of the American Colonial era, will soon host a Zoom lecture on one of the Revolutionary War’s “most misunderstood figures,” one General Charles Lee. 

While the public generally understands Lee as either a treasonous British soldier who fought valiantly for American independence or a bitter rival of George Washington on and off the battlefield, Christian McBurney, a historian and author who specializes in this period, will seek to complicate that narrative by using original documents as historical evidence. It’s the type of Revolutionary drama that’s easy to imagine as the centerpiece of the next Tony Award-winning Broadway show — Lin Manuel Miranda, are you listening?

A turncoat general who fought for American liberty, Lee tried to save his own skin by offering the British plans to quash the rebellion, and later returned to command the Continental Army. He did this, all while maintaining a well-documented personal beef with George Washington? The hit musical blending elements of hip-hop, jazz and R&B practically writes itself.  

The lecture will be held via Zoom on Thursday, October 8, 6:30p–7:30p.

photo: iStock